ESL Programs

ESL Programs

Whether you’d like to build core English skills, improve your TOEFL/IELTS or GRE/GMAT scores, or gain admission into an American university, HOFT Institute has the program for you.  Select from our three main offerings – Academic Core, Test Prep, Fast Track – and take the first step to reaching your language and academic goals. If you need something more customized, let us create a program for you.

General Program Info

The HOFT Institute Academic Calendar is semester-based. Each semester – spring, summer, fall – runs for 15-weeks. We operate on an open-enrollment policy, which means students may begin at any point before Week #10 each semester. Tuition is prorated accordingly.

All ESL classes meet 4.5 hours per week. Classes are held Monday through Thursday between the hours of 9:00AM and 4:30PM, with evening classes from 5 to 7:15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. See sample class schedule below.

New students are required to take the Cambridge-Michigan English Placement Test before their Program Start Date. The results of this test help advisers place students into the appropriate level of classes.

The ESL Curriculum comprises six distinct levels:

  • Level 0 (starter)
  • Level 1 (elementary)
  • Level 2 (low-intermediate)
  • Level 3 (mid-intermediate)
  • Level 4 (upper-intermediate)
  • Level 5 (advanced)

For a detailed description of each level, please visit the Curriculum Overview page.

Sample Class Schedule

Mondays & Wednesdays

  • 09:00AM – 11:15AM     Reading
  • 11:45AM – 02:00PM     Writing
  • 02:15PM – 04:30PM     Test Prep or Elective Offering

Tuesdays & Thursdays

  • 09:00AM – 11:15AM     Listening & Speaking
  • 11:45AM – 02:00PM     Grammar
  • 02:15PM – 04:30PM     Test Prep or Elective Offering
  • 05:00PM – 07:15PM     Test Prep or Elective Offering

Elective Offerings

Please note that these courses are offered in cycles and upon student demand.

Fundamentals of English for Health Sciences

  • This course would involve speaking, listening, reading and writing activities incorporating hundreds of commonly used terms and expressions relating to the fields of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and other health sciences. The goal is to familiarize students of health sciences with key field-specific language that is almost never covered in general English courses.

Intensive TOEFL Preparation

  • The goal of this class (10 hrs/week) is to enable each student in the class to get the highest score possible on the TOEFL iBT. The class will focus on supporting skills such as note taking, paraphrasing, and summarizing, high-level grammar points, and test-taking strategies for each of the sections of the test. Students will have many chances to practice through exercises, section tests, and finally complete tests that mimic the format of the actual exam.

Intensive IELTS Preparation

  • The goal of the course (10 hrs/week) is to ensure achievement of scores necessary for university entrance and professional requirements in the academic and general versions of the exam. The class would involve diagnostic exams, development of supporting skills, and test-taking strategies for each section. Moreover, regular speaking practice will be a key part of almost every class to prepare students for interviews.

Note-taking Skills and Advanced Listening Techniques

  • This course would help students planning to enter university who want more practice listening to authentic academic lectures. It will teach various note-taking methods, such as the Cornell Method, SQ3R, etc. The goal is to prepare students for the extensive listening they will experience in the university lecture hall.

Pronunciation and Accent Reduction

  • The pronunciation practice in this course would enable students to recognize the issues that they bring to English from their original language. By working on those areas and practicing the rhythm and intonation of English, students will become clear and effective speakers of English. The goal of the course is improved pronunciation that does not interfere with communication.

Business English

  • This course would explore the interconnected worlds of business and international politics, and deal with news reports from respected sources. The goal of the course is to give students the opportunity to study areas of personal interest as well as current events that are shaping our future. Students will also learn to format business letters, write a resume, and practice interview skills.


  • In this course, students will work on techniques and strategies that can be used with the GRE or GMAT. By the end of the term, course participants will be prepared to succeed on these exams in preparation for graduate school.

Academic Reading for University Preparation

  • This course would offer an alternative to the normal, less academic advanced reading courses offered. Based on student interests, university-level texts will be analyzed, with weekly amounts of required reading similar to what you would experience in a university course. The goal is to improve reading speed, develop summarizing skills, and build Academic Word List vocabulary.

Advanced Culture and Idioms

  • In this course, students would study and practice advanced cultural idioms, like “The end justifies the means,” “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” etc. The goal of the course is to help students improve vocabulary and properly use sophisticated expressions related to American life.

Beginning Culture and Idioms

  • In this course, students would learn basic American cultural idioms, like “It’s a piece of cake,” “You bet!” etc. The goal of the course is to help students improve vocabulary and properly use common expressions related to American life.

Journalism and News Reporting

  • This class would work to improve student knowledge and use of all communication skills in a journalistic setting. The goal of the course is to help students develop teamwork skills and confidence when making videos, mixed-media projects, newscasts/infomercials, and a school “yearbook”. Students will do research, writing and editing of projects that will be shown to the other students at the institute.

English thru Community Service and Outdoor Activities

  • This course would involve students getting out into the Austin community to use English in a variety of socially valuable situations, such as by volunteering at soup kitchens or local charity events. It will also mean taking educational field trips to various parts of the city. The goal is to permit interaction with local people and allow students to become familiar with US culture and society.

English thru Film

  • In this class, we would watch various American films, with the goal of improving our vocabulary, becoming familiar with various dialects and accents, learning about various aspects of American culture, society, and developing understanding of idiomatic expressions.

HOFT Institute ESL Program

2400 Pearl Street Austin TX 78705
1-512-472-6996 |